VW XL1 to carry $145,000 price tag?

Filed under: Diesel, EV/Plug-in, Hybrid, Volkswagen

VW XL1

The best we’ve been able to suss out thus far is that the Volkswagen XL1 will be expensive. Like six-figure, “as much as a nicely detailed Audi A6,” expensive (we’re assuming that Audi bit is European pricing). Given that this is a hand-built, hyper-aerodynamic, plug-in-diesel vehicle – and one that VW will only make 250 of – it’s not at all surprising that it’ll be a ride for the upper class. Thanks to a report in Wirtschafts Woche, we finally have a potential price tag for the 261-mpg car: 111,000 euros, or a little over US $146,000. VW tells Wirtschafts Woche that there should be plenty of demand for the car at that price from collectors and enthusiasts, even though we heard earlier that the car will likely be available for lease only.

The XL1 gets its name from the fact that it uses less than one liter of fuel to go 100 kilometers (using one liter would be equivalent to 235 mpg). Thus far, VW has built 50 of the slippery little things and plans on making another 200 for delivery in the spring of 2014 before ending the project. “The car is more a lighthouse than a business model,” VW’s Ulrich Hackenberg told Wirtschafts Woche (translated). We got to drive the XL1 earlier this year – you can read all about that here.

VW XL1 to carry $145,000 price tag? originally appeared on Autoblog Green on Wed, 04 Sep 2013 14:01:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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VW XL1 to carry $145,000 price tag?

Filed under: Diesel, EV/Plug-in, Hybrid, Volkswagen

VW XL1

The best we’ve been able to suss out thus far is that the Volkswagen XL1 will be expensive. Like six-figure, “as much as a nicely detailed Audi A6,” expensive (we’re assuming that Audi bit is European pricing). Given that this is a hand-built, hyper-aerodynamic, plug-in-diesel vehicle – and one that VW will only make 250 of – it’s not at all surprising that it’ll be a ride for the upper class. Thanks to a report in Wirtschafts Woche, we finally have a potential price tag for the 261-mpg car: 111,000 euros, or a little over US $146,000. VW tells Wirtschafts Woche that there should be plenty of demand for the car at that price from collectors and enthusiasts, even though we heard earlier that the car will likely be available for lease only.

The XL1 gets its name from the fact that it uses less than one liter of fuel to go 100 kilometers (using one liter would be equivalent to 235 mpg). Thus far, VW has built 50 of the slippery little things and plans on making another 200 for delivery in the spring of 2014 before ending the project. “The car is more a lighthouse than a business model,” VW’s Ulrich Hackenberg told Wirtschafts Woche (translated). We got to drive the XL1 earlier this year – you can read all about that here.

VW XL1 to carry $145,000 price tag? originally appeared on Autoblog Green on Wed, 04 Sep 2013 14:01:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Toyota and Lexus recalling 235,000 hybrid CUVs and sedans over separate issues

Filed under: Convertible, Hybrid, Sedan, Recalls, Safety, Crossover, Lexus, Luxury

2008 Toyota Highlander Hybrid

When it rains, it pours. Toyota has announced a pair of separate but voluntary North America recalls covering approximately 235,000 vehicles built between 2006 and 2011. The larger of the two recalls targets Toyota’s hybridized crossovers, the Lexus RX400h and Toyota Highlander Hybrid. 133,000 units, including 2006-2010 Highlander and 2006-2008 RX crossovers are covered in the campaign. The other recall affects 102,000 IS350 sedans, IS350C convertibles and GS350 sedans built between 2006 and 2011.

With the CUVs, the faults in the parallel circuits of the transistors can cause heat damage in the inverter assembly, triggering an abundance of warning lamps and sending the vehicle into limp mode. The Lexus sedans are being recalled due to loose bolts on the variable valve timing controller. Detected by unusual underhood sounds on startup, the issue can cause the engine to stop while driving. The inverter issue is also triggering similar recalls in Japan and Europe.

At the moment, it’s unclear if any of these issues have caused any crashes or injuries. Toyota says it plans to notify owners of the recall via snail mail. Additional information for owners can be found on the recall sites for Toyota and Lexus or by calling Toyota’s customer service line, at 1-800-331-4331. Scroll down for the complete recall notice from Toyota.

Continue reading Toyota and Lexus recalling 235,000 hybrid CUVs and sedans over separate issues

Toyota and Lexus recalling 235,000 hybrid CUVs and sedans over separate issues originally appeared on Autoblog on Wed, 04 Sep 2013 10:59:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Toyota and Lexus recalling 235,000 hybrid CUVs and sedans over separate issues

Filed under: Convertible, Hybrid, Sedan, Recalls, Safety, Crossover, Lexus, Luxury

2008 Toyota Highlander Hybrid

When it rains, it pours. Toyota has announced a pair of separate but voluntary North America recalls covering approximately 235,000 vehicles built between 2006 and 2011. The larger of the two recalls targets Toyota’s hybridized crossovers, the Lexus RX400h and Toyota Highlander Hybrid. 133,000 units, including 2006-2010 Highlander and 2006-2008 RX crossovers are covered in the campaign. The other recall affects 102,000 IS350 sedans, IS350C convertibles and GS350 sedans built between 2006 and 2011.

With the CUVs, the faults in the parallel circuits of the transistors can cause heat damage in the inverter assembly, triggering an abundance of warning lamps and sending the vehicle into limp mode. The Lexus sedans are being recalled due to loose bolts on the variable valve timing controller. Detected by unusual underhood sounds on startup, the issue can cause the engine to stop while driving. The inverter issue is also triggering similar recalls in Japan and Europe.

At the moment, it’s unclear if any of these issues have caused any crashes or injuries. Toyota says it plans to notify owners of the recall via snail mail. Additional information for owners can be found on the recall sites for Toyota and Lexus or by calling Toyota’s customer service line, at 1-800-331-4331. Scroll down for the complete recall notice from Toyota.

Continue reading Toyota and Lexus recalling 235,000 hybrid CUVs and sedans over separate issues

Toyota and Lexus recalling 235,000 hybrid CUVs and sedans over separate issues originally appeared on Autoblog on Wed, 04 Sep 2013 10:59:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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MIT: vehicle emissions cause 53,000 extra deaths a year

Filed under: Etc., EV/Plug-in, MPG, USA

Winter Weather

53,000 early deaths are attributed to exhaust from cars and trucks, annually.

And now for some not-so-uplifting news for your Labor Day weekend, especially if it involves a long road trip. Emissions from electric-power generation, industrial operations, commercial and residential sources and transportation (road, marine and rail) sources cause about 200,000 premature deaths in the US each year, Green Car Congress says, citing a study from MIT’s Laboratory for Aviation and the Environment. The key point for us in the automotive world: road transportation alone accounts for “53,000 early deaths per year attributed to exhaust from the tailpipes of cars and trucks.” EV advocates shouldn’t gloat too much, as early deaths from electricity generation came in at 52,000, mostly in the Midwest where coal is still the main source of juice. The data MIT used came from the Environmental Protection Agency’s National Emissions Inventory from 2005, the most recent available.

MIT somehow calculates that pollution-related deaths essentially occur about a decade before that person would’ve otherwise passed away. As far as geography is concerned, California alone accounts for about 21,000 of those 200,000 premature deaths, and fans of The Wire might be interested to know that Baltimore is the US city with the highest number of emissions-related deaths per capita. Amid all this negativity, there is some good news. Pollution-related deaths from rail operations were “relatively slight.” So we have that going for us.

MIT: vehicle emissions cause 53,000 extra deaths a year originally appeared on Autoblog Green on Sat, 31 Aug 2013 14:54:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Ford recalling 370,000 Crown Vic, Grand Marquis and Town Car models

Filed under: Recalls, Safety, Ford, Lincoln, Mercury

2005 Ford Crown Victoria

The Detroit News is reporting that Ford will recall some 370,000 Crown Victoria (pictured), Mercury Grand Marquis and Lincoln Town Car vehicles from model years 2005 through 2011, for an issue regarding the lower intermediate steering shaft. 355,000 of the vehicles in question were sold in the US, with the other 15,000 sold in Canada.

The report indicates that corrosion of the lower intermediate steering shaft could cause a “loss of steering,” presumably because of a partial or complete failure of the part. The report points out the dealers will inspect and replace the offending steering component for recalled cars, and may also secure a lower steering column bearing and replace the upper intermediate steering shaft as needed. The company is unaware of any reports of the faulty part causing any accidents or injuries.

Ford helpfully lists states in which corrosion is more likely to have taken place, mostly in the Snow Belt, as you might guess. Connecticut, Delaware, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kentucky, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont, Virginia, Wisconsin, West Virginia, and the District of Columbia are listed.

The Detroit News also quotes a Ford spokeswoman saying, “Customers located in other states who routinely operate their vehicles in one of these areas, or customers who have concerns regarding their steering, will also be able to have their vehicles inspected and repaired if necessary.”

Ford recalling 370,000 Crown Vic, Grand Marquis and Town Car models originally appeared on Autoblog on Fri, 30 Aug 2013 13:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Report: Mercedes S-Class stretch variant to command $200,000+

Filed under: Sedan, Mercedes-Benz, Luxury

Stretched Mercedes-Benz S-Class prototype - front three-quarter view

We recently spotted a stretched version of the 2014 Mercedes-Benz S-Class, but it sounds like this new ultra-luxurious version of the sedan might not be quite as much of a Maybach-replacing model that we initially expected. Automotive News says that the car has somewhat more modest targets, with the so-called “super S-Class” expected to list in the $200,000 to $250,000 range when it goes on sale in 2014. That’s hardly chump change, but it’s about $175,000 less than the now-dead Maybach 57.

After speaking with Daimler CEO Dieter Zetsche, AN’s article says that this new S-Class model will be targeted at the Bentley Flying Spur and Rolls-Royce Ghost rather than more expensive models like the Mulsanne and Phantom, which makes sense since the Maybach brand was killed off due to slow sales. Of course, there is still the possibility that the three-row S600 Pullman could reach a little higher to fill in the void of those $400,000 sedans. Aside from the stretched body, Zetsche also promises cabin tech and luxury not offered on the standard S-Class, which is hard to imagine since the new S-Class has gobs of both already. During our recent first drive of the standard S-Class, we said that its interior is “going to give Bentley and Rolls-Royce night sweats,” so it sounds like Daimler will be aiming for breathing difficulties and heart palpitations with this new model.

Mercedes S-Class stretch variant to command $200,000+ originally appeared on Autoblog on Mon, 29 Jul 2013 14:30:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Official: 2014 Nissan 370Z pricing announced, MSRP reduced by $3,000

Filed under: Car Buying, Convertible, Coupe, Performance, Nissan

Nissan is up to something. The company announced pricing for the 2014 Nissan 370Z, 370Z Nismo, and 370Z Roadster, which isn’t out of the ordinary. What is, is that the standard, hardtop 370Z has received a $3,130 reduction in price for 2014. The upmarket Touring model, meanwhile, has been dropped $2,550.

That means, excluding the $790 for destination and handling, a base, six-speed manual 370Z is only $29,990. That is an excellent deal. Adding an automatic will bump the price to $31,290, while the Touring model starts at $35,270 for DIY shifters and $36,570 for autos. The top-of-the-range Nismo runs $43,020. The Roadster, meanwhile, starts at $41,470.

So what does this mean in the grand scheme? Automakers don’t just slash $3,000 off the price of a desirable sportscar because they’re feeling generous.Could this be a move to clear out stock before a replacement to the current Z arrives?

The current car, codenamed Z34 by Nissan, has been on sale since 2009 and was refreshed not so long ago. With the 2014-2015 auto show season about to kick off, clearing out parts and inventory by slashing prices could be a precursor to the debut of the Z35 later this year, or in early 2014. That said, there’s been precious little information about from spy shooters or internal sources on the next Z. Only time will tell if our guessing is correct. But hopefully, we’ll have our answer in the not-so-distant future. Read the Nissan press release, below.

Continue reading 2014 Nissan 370Z pricing announced, MSRP reduced by $3,000

2014 Nissan 370Z pricing announced, MSRP reduced by $3,000 originally appeared on Autoblog on Fri, 26 Jul 2013 15:44:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Official: Renault-Nissan zero-emissions car sales whir past 100,000 [w/video]

Filed under: Car Buying, Nissan, Renault, Electric

2013 Nissan Leaf - maroon - front three-quarter view

The electric vehicle has gone gold at Renault-Nissan, clocking 100,000 sales in a three-year period that began with the first Nissan Leaf being sold in Silicon Valley, California in 2010. Since then, the Leaf has become the EV champion of the world, selling more than 71,000 units so far, the majority of those in the US. The 100,000th EV sold by the Alliance was also a Leaf and also sold in the US, but on the other side of the country, in Georgia.

By comparison, Renault has sold 30,000 electric vehicles since late 2011, looking after other segments of the EV market with the Kangoo Z.E., Zoe, Twizy and Fluence Z.E. The alliance estimates that its efforts have been driven 5.2 million ion-powered miles and saved 14 million gallons of oil since they appeared. For a bit of sobering context, the US averaged 18.83 million barrels of oil per day in 2011, which is almost 791 million gallons. Per day.

So we’re getting there, albeit slowly. Quietly. There’s a press release and a video below with more details on the achievement.

Continue reading Renault-Nissan zero-emissions car sales whir past 100,000 [w/video]

Renault-Nissan zero-emissions car sales whir past 100,000 [w/video] originally appeared on Autoblog on Tue, 23 Jul 2013 17:59:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Report: Hennessey unveils C7 Corvette Stingray upgrades that reach 1,000 HP

Filed under: Aftermarket, Coupe, Performance, Chevrolet, Specialty, Racing


The all-new 2014 Chevrolet Corvette C7 Stingray hasn’t even arrived in showrooms, but that minor speed bump hasn’t slowed Hennessey Performance (HPE) from introducing a full suite of packaged (and à la carte) upgrades to the highly anticipated American sports car that will undoubtedly trump even the factory’s future high-performance Z06 and ZR1 models.

In base form, the C7’s new 6.2-liter V8 will be rated at 455 horsepower. While that’s a strong start, Hennessey’s first two packages bolt on a TVS2300 supercharger system and other miscellaneous upgrades to find upwards of 150 additional horses (both come with a 3 Year/36,000-mile warranty). The more aggressive packages start with an HPE custom balanced and forged engine that is accompanied by two ball-bearing turbochargers, forged pistons and plenty of other go-fast hardware to deliver up to 1,000 horsepower (both come with a 1 Year/12,000-mile warranty).

The company has announced four different upgrade programs (prices include professional installation):

  • HPE600 Supercharged ($12,495) 600 hp @ 6,300 rpm
  • HPE700 Supercharged ($18,450) 700 hp @ 6,300 rpm
  • HPE800 Twin-Turbo ($54,950) 800 hp @ 6,300 rpm
  • HPE1000 Twin-Turbo ($67,950) 1,100 hp @ 6,300 rpm

John Hennessey told Autoblog that his company has been planning the C7 upgrades “for over a year” and that his team is “confident that we will be able to adapt the same types of upgrades that we have been doing for the C6 models over the past several years.” While he was unable to offer any performance estimates, Hennessey reminded us that his HPE700 upgrade on the C6 Grand Sport ran 0-60 in 3.3 sec. and 10.7 sec. @ 128 mph. “I would expect similar performance on the C7 or possibly a bit quicker,” he said. “We prefer to be cautious on performance estimates and promises until we know for a fact what the numbers are.” Hennessey Performance plans to have the first cars in customer’s hands by the end of the year.

Hennessey unveils C7 Corvette Stingray upgrades that reach 1,000 HP originally appeared on Autoblog on Mon, 15 Jul 2013 16:29:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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